Living in NYC (or anywhere really) during our 20s and 30s can be pretty overwhelming. I’ve been speaking to a lot of friends and colleagues recently, and one theme that has really come through is that we all feel we are too busy saying yes to everyone and everything else, to say yes to ourselves, even at times when we need it most. We have become so enmeshed in the idea that there is always someone working harder than us, doing more than us, or achieving more than us, that we find we are frequently running on empty in an attempt to keep pace and fit as much as we can into our 24 hours a day. Compound this with all the recent political changes (which I think we can all agree on, regardless of who we voted for last November) and all of a sudden, life can seem more than overwhelming, uncertain, and anxiety ridden. Now more than ever, it is important that we start putting ourselves first, and realize that treating ourselves with the kindness and support we need is so far from selfish. Rather, it is this self-care that will allow us to give more to our relationships, our communities, our endeavors, and ourselves if we actually take the time to treat our mind and bodies with the love they deserve.
Research has shown that adding self-care into your daily routine can reduce stress, decrease the chance of mental or physical illness and ailment, increase productivity, and inspire feelings of happiness. This is because through giving ourselves daily compassion, we are able to approach our work and our relationships with a clearer and happier mind. We need this break as sometimes when we get stressed out, burnt out, anxious or overwhelmed, it can be hard (or even close to impossible) to see how this experience is affected by how well we are taking care of ourselves. This shows just how crucial self-care is.
So, here are TSC top tips for adding self-care into your daily routines:
Don’t be afraid to say “no”. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is turn down invites, projects, social events or opportunities, as we need the time to refresh, refocus, and focus on what matters most. While learning to say no, can be tough, you will instantly feel the reward (well, as soon as the initial guilt about saying no wears off).
Eat healthy and mindfully. When we eat our meals while multitasking we may be denying ourselves the experience of the meal. Instead, try indulging in your meals free from your laptop, television or TV.
Express gratitude (yes, this one made it onto other list). Look around and notice what you have around you. Talk about or write down the things you feel lucky to have, this can be as simple as the scented candle in your apartment, the book on your nightstand, or your friends.
Create your own “space”. Build a space that you feel warm and comfortable in, whether it be an abundance of throw pillows, cozy blankets, or warm lighting. This space should feel like a retreat for you when things get tough.
Read a book. Reading is a great escape when reality gets tough. Whether you read a novel that you enjoy getting lost in or a personal development book, all that matters is that you look forward to and enjoy reading it.
Sweat (yes, this one also made another list, but you all know how I feel about this one).
Unplug. We all know that people generally only post their positive moments on Instagram and Facebook, which can lead to a pretty distorted picture of the realities of those around you. If and when you find yourself comparing yourself to others, make sure to unplug and take a break from all the social media. Further, if recent news is too much for you, take a break from it!
Create. Whether you bake a tray of cookies, decorate a cake, or make a collage, getting creative and artistic is proven to make us feel mindful and productive.